Coming home to separated parents means you have twice the love.
I landed about 10:30 last night at RDU International and got my backpack in a jiffy.
The Airport security paranoia is EVERYWHERE. In Oakland there were hastily tacked up posters indicating a very ORANGE situation and that no liquids, toiletries, gels, etc., etc. were to be carried on.
Security took a few moments and I was through.
While I waited in Oakland, I unearthed reading materials from my new job in my bag and found at the very bottom not one, but TWO liquidy-gel-lotiony type things. I thought I had rid myself of them, and surely the X-Ray picked them up: Burt's Bees hand creme and foot creme.
I didn't draw attention to myself, and bought a charger for the iPod so I could get some tunes in and started reading about the Teaching for Understanding model. Excellent stuff that makes sense for instructors to include and amazing to me that Harvard made money to put such a tome together for the peops. But I suppose the things obvious to some of us are just outside of the scope of others.
Anywho...we got on the plane and I was industrious for the majority of the flight. Normally I nod off, but I was excited to see family and about my new job so I made an outline for a presentation to the board of my current organization, read through lesson plans for the teachers in my new job, and outlined my plan of attack to understand their needs and be up to speed.
I was excited we'd have a movie on the plane. I was underwhelmed that the film was Nacho Libre.
Nacho Libre was disappointing. The SOUNDTRACK is AWESOME, but the slow-latino stereotype thing is SO old. I've over the Speedy Gonzalez/Slowpoke Rodriguez diction of the Spanish language. The martyrdom, the poor Mexican orphans, the terrible/flavourless beans...I'm over it. There were some cute moments in the film. (I saw it at the Parkway a few months back.) But I basically plugged my headphones in so I could catch the soundtrack and continued with my reading.
All too quickly we arrived in Atlanta.
I got out in the A Terminal and my flight was leaving from the B Terminal.
No worries. I took a little diversion to get gifts for my mom and aunts and headed to Terminal B. I found some beautiful scarves and shirts from Bijoux Terner that I was very happy with. Yay.
All the while I quick-stepped to Terminal B to make my flight 20 minutes later I heard the announcement from the woman warning us about the Orange Alert and that due to Security no liquids were to be taken on the airplane, all beverages were to be consumed and disposed of before getting on the airplane and that included ice cream.
Dude, Osama's got my ICE CREAM in check? How terrible is this war on Terrorism (how do you wage war on a noun?) that ice cream is on the suspect list?
And they still missed my lotion, which I did not discuss or take out or anything.
I got to my gate and noticed there were two Raleigh flights leaving. I asked, mine was across the way. The other was still at the gate, but the door was closed. It's flight was delayed by 25 minutes. Word among the dour people sitting for our flight was that a woman became hysterical on the plane and wanted to get off. Her bag could not be found and they grounded that sucker until passenger and bag were accounted for.
Perhaps she had ice cream stowed somewhere unholy.
I waited, entertained by my newly purchased art box for $10 which has paints, glue, crayons, markers, pastels, and rulers. I thought I bought the one with paper...oh well. I had a pad with me and proceeded to paint a desert scene because the paper was orange and it reminded me of sunset. I had read an article on the plane about the Albuquerque and I remembered the Sandia mountains.
In a few minutes I had a saguaro cactus in the middle and surrounded it by rocks and dry bushes. I drew some mesas in the background and a sun high to the west, leaving shadows leaning from all the items in the foreground. It was cartoony, but I liked it. As I filled in the colours, our Zone numbers were called.
Delta, and everyone else, is biting off the Southwest Cattle Call. And somehow it works. Me gusta.
Both flights were empty enough that people could stretch and switch seats. Excellent.
This plane also had screens on the back of each seat. This is my first plane with screens experience.
But you have to pay for access to the entertainment and that thing glows obnoxiously. What a waste of electricity, expecially when I couldn't plug in my iPod and charge it.
The "off" button wasn't working. A cheery screen kept popping back up with pleasant scenes and ads so I took masking tape from my backpack and a blank piece of paper and I taped up the screen.
Ah. Now I could enjoy the natural night outside unobstructed. I was hoping to see the now-just waning moon from that vantage point.
Time flew. I got more work done and then I saw the lights of the airport. Raleigh has grown. Trees have been toppled for tarmac and highway, but it's still beautiful to see from that perspective.
We landed and I called mami. Titi Ana answered the phone. I got giggly and asked them where they were. They just pulled up to the airport. I walked outside and there they were, Titi Ana was just stepping out of the car and I popped in the back, squeezing her hello and offering mami a besito.
The plan? I was to stay at dad's that night. OK!
So we drive to my dad's and we knock and my nephew is standing where a door once was. He exclaimed, "Titi Erika!" and threw his arms around my neck, squeezing me and I felt right at home. He's grown to be a 13 year old man-boy and his voice is changing. He looks great. Then I saw and squealed "Titi Goyi!" and ran over to her.
She's looking beyond fabulous and I just started ranting, asking questions about family. I chirped for about 10 minutes straight about new job and California, and poitics and environmental stuff.
Then I grabbed the wrists of the women and laid out the presents in the living room for all to see. Mami picked out a scarf, Titi Goyi picked out a blouse, and Titi Ana didn't find something she liked among the choices. I felt bad and she chided me in a loving way. I made a note to self to find something for Titi Ana.
We said good-byes, made a plan for the morning, and Mami and Titi Ana left. Tylor and I went upstairs, talked about school and life and we did some homework.
He made the most comfy chair in his bedroom from a laundry basket filled with freshly washed clothes and a pillow. From there we talked. We caught up. He has a LOVELY Camelback water pack, was making knots with my piece of climbing rope that I'm using as a jumprope and we just talked as if we held our last conversation in pause. He's an amazingly intelligent kid. He has his challenges, but he's totally great and I love him very much.
It felt like a sleepover. We played rock-paper-scissors to choose who got which bed (he has bunk beds) and we talked until I fell asleep -- about 1:30 in the morning.
Dad seems okay, but I think he's cross that I interjected about Tylor's assignments to him. We should be at La Fiesta right now, but he's napping, which is code for: I'm tired and don't want to be social because this is how I protest.
No matter. He moped a little when he was in California, too...and we were whirling like a storm by the time Spanish Harlem Orchestra came.